When Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh, chairperson of Mission: Restore, Inc., learned that Myanmar, (formerly Burma) a country of 62 million people, had only five plastic surgeons he knew the nonprofit organization had to establish a training program with them in 2013.
Myanmar fit the nonprofit’s criteria: Mission: Restore, a 501 C (3) not-for-profit organization, provides reconstructive surgical training in countries where there is a disproportionate ratio between the population and the number of plastic surgeons available to attend to its needs. Many of these patients are suffering devastating injuries sustained from burns, trauma and cancer reconstruction treatments but there are not enough doctors and medical professionals to treat them. The organization, founded in 2010, deploys American trained plastic surgeons to perform surgery side by side with local surgeons. Volunteer surgeons typically visit each select partner three times a year and conduct training via Skype between visits. The local surgeons also come to the United States once a year to train at New York area hospitals.
Dr. Alizadeh, who has his own practice in Great Neck, Long Island and Manhattan, New York and is Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Westchester Medical Center,Valhalla, NY believes that Mission: Restore can make a significant and long-term impact by forming multi-year partnerships with local surgeons. “Each Mission: Restore program is designed with an understanding of the culture, the healthcare delivery system and the prevailing medical needs of each of our partners,” said Alizadeh. “Our goal is to train surgeons who will then share their knowledge locally. We want to help develop a sustainable program that continues well beyond our visits.”
In addition to Myanmar, Mission: Restore is also training surgeons in Afghanistan and Tanzania and plans to launch a program in Haiti this year. If you would like to learn more about Mission: Restore, please visit www.missionrestore.org or call (855)777-1350. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.